Week 8 was a tough one for several ranked teams, but top-ranked Alabama continue to roll. The Crimson Tide smashed the Arkansas Razorbacks 52-0 to remain unbeaten. 'Bama ran for a ridiculous 352 yards against a hapless Razorbacks defense.
Oregon held serve as the No. 2 team in the nation by handling Washington State at home. Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota led the Oregon attack. The Ducks won 62-38 by outrushing the Cougars 383-2, per ESPN.
After that, things got pretty wild.
The Scramble Begins
The Florida State Seminoles could make a strong argument that they deserve to be the No. 2 team in the nation. Led by freshman sensation Jameis Winston, the 'Noles went into Death Valley and knocked off the No. 3 ranked Clemson Tigers 51-14.
It is just Week 8, but this win is likely the biggest thus far in the college football season.
In a game that had potential national championship and Heisman trophy implications, Winston guided his team past Tajh Boyd’s Tigers. The 'Noles and Winston made a serious statement about where they stand as a team and where Winston belongs in the Heisman discussion.
Winston threw for 444 yards and four touchdowns in a performance that could have made him the frontrunner for the Heisman trophy.
The Ohio State Buckeyes remained unbeaten over the last season-and-a-half. Braxton Miller accounted for three scores as the Buckeyes overcame a 17-10 halftime deficit to win 34-24. The win was a nice one, but not enough to keep the 'Noles from leapfrogging them in the rankings.
Slipping, Falling, Can't Get Up
LSU came in to their game with Ole Miss ranked sixth in the nation, but the Rebels finally captured a big win over a top conference foe. Bo Wallace and Jaylen Walton powered the team to the 27-24 win over the Tigers in Oxford. Wallace threw for 345 yards and Walton had two rushing tounchdowns.
Senior kicker Andrew Ritter hit the game-winning field goal with three seconds left to deliver the win.
LSU’s loss will likely drop them out of the top 10.
Texas A&M also lost. The Auburn Tigers roughed up Johnny Manziel in College Station. Auburn has proven itself to be solid in 2013, but losing at home to a lower-ranked team will lead to a big fall for the Aggies. Manziel was spectacular in defeat with 502 total yards and five scores, but it wasn't enough.
If you think the Aggies will experience a big fall, it is nothing compared to what is in store for Teddy Bridgewater and the Louisville Cardinals.
The Cardinals lost 38-35 at home to an unranked Central Florida team on Friday night. Bridgewater’s Heisman hopes shouldn’t have taken a hit. He passed for 341 yards and two scores in defeat. His team however saw their slight national championship hopes die with the loss.
Wasted Opportunities and Recovery
The UCLA Bruins had an opportunity to really make a move in the top 10 with so many losses from teams ahead of them, but they couldn’t beat the Stanford Cardinal on the road.
The Bruins’ offense had looked nearly unstoppable all season, but Stanford held them scoreless in the first half and to a season-low 10 points in the game.
Jordan Richards picked off Brett Hundley twice to help shut down the Bruins.
The Cardinal rebounded from a loss to Utah the previous week.
What team deserves to be ranked No. 2?
The 10th-ranked Miami Hurricanes nearly joined the ranks of the upset on Thursday night. The 'Canes were trailing the North Carolina Tar Heels 23-13 in the fourth quarter before rallying to score the final 14 points of the game.
A three-yard touchdown run by Dallas Crawford with 16 seconds remaining gave the 'Canes the win.
Considering the Heels were just 1-4 coming in, it wasn’t an overly-impressive win. That said, it was still a victory, which is more than many of the other top 10 teams in the nation could produce.
One team that didn't begin the day in the top 10—but now deserves a spot—is the Missouri. The Tigers pulled off their second-straight big win over a SEC opponent. A week after beating Georgia on the road, the Tigers knocked off 22nd-ranked Florida 36-17.
The Tigers' defense held the vaunted Gators' run game to just 59 yards on the ground.
Here’s a look at what the top 10 should look like on Sunday.
1. Alabama 7-0
2. Oregon 7-0
3. Florida State 6-0
4. Ohio State 7-0
5. Missouri 7-0
6. Baylor 6-0
7. Miami, Fla. 6-0
8. Stanford 6-1
9. Clemson 6-1
10. Texas Tech 7-0
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